Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.

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In light of mine own "Muse" taking a temporary New Year's hiatus, I thought I would take the occasion to share with some of you this somewhat dreamy ode by the German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724-1803); here translated by William Nind; that particularly struck my fancy the other day. (The mention of "Messiah" refers to Klopstock's poetic magnum opus of that title.)

"To Fanny

"When I am dead -- when once this mortal frame
Is moulder'd into dust, and thou mine eye,
So long deploring life's eventful dream,
In death hast wept thyself for ever dry,

"Nor lookest upward while the ages throng
From thy still adoration; when my fame,
The fruit of my youth's yearning, and my song,
And of the love I bore Messiah's name,

"Is past and overblown; or by a few
In that world rescued from oblivious doom;
When thou, my Fanny, long hast rested too,
And gentle smiles no more thine eyes illume;

"When their soul-beaming glance is quench'd and gone.
And thou, unnoticed by the vulgar crowd,
The work of thy whole life hast nobly done
In noble deeds, which fame should utter loud,

"Worthier remembrance than immortal song!
Oh, then -- albeit in love thou madest thine
A happier -- let not the proud word be wrong!
A happier not a nobler heart than mine;

"The day must dawn when I shall live again;
The day must dawn when thou wilt see the sun;
And envious Fate no more can rend in twain
The souls whom Nature destined to be one.

"Then God shall weigh on the eternal beam
Virtue and Happiness in equal scales;
And things that struck discordant here shall seem
Perfect in harmony, where love prevails.

"There where thou wakest, in that happy land,
I will haste to thee. Wander not away
Until some seraph lead me by the hand
To where thou standest in thy bright array.

"Thy brother, welcomed by a dear embrace,
With me shall seek thee. Joyful tears will stream --
Such tears as glisten on a cherub's face,
When I stand by thee, call thee by thy name,

"And press thee to me. Immortality
Will all be ours! O come, ye rapturous train
Of joys unknown to mortal minstrelsy --
Joys inexpressible, as now my pain!

"Ebb then, O life, away! till comes the hour
That calls us to the cypress-shade at last;
Mourning I pine in my deserted bower,
And see my days with darkness overcast."

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Here's something slightly off the trodden path, even for me, and was indirectly suggested by one of my brothers who recently asked if I knew who'd wrote the "Babes in Toyland" theme (his having watched Laurel and Hardy's "Babes in Toyland"/"March of the Wooden Soldiers" over the holidays.) While I was aware of Victor Herbert (1859-1924) in association with that music and a few other tunes of his, it served as a reminder to me of how little I otherwise knew about the character and extent of his full body of compositions and repertoire; which as it turns out, of course, is quite varied and quantitatively considerable. I thought, therefore, to do some further listening and sifting of his work; so that I have for posting here two pieces of his that you, perhaps like me, may not have heard before.

The first of these is Deanna Durbin, in the film "His Butler's Sister" (1943), singing "When You're Away." (As we've seen before with some videos, you'll probably want the YouTube volume down somewhat on this.)

The second of our Herbert samples is "Art is Calling for Me" from "The Enchantress" performed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, along with John Hopkins and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (c. 1990.) Ms. Te Kanawa, who it seems I find myself liking in so many things, including (also on video) "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Die Fledermaus" (the latter a most suitable New Year's opera) as well as "Don Giovanni," etc., is unusually lively as well as lovely here.

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As a separate, though quite unrelated, bonus, and at the last minute suggestion of goomer ghost himself, is (for many) the very recognizable waltz from Gounod's "Faust" here with Francizco Araiza, Ruggero Raimondi, Gabriela Benackova with the Chorus and Orchestra of Wiene Staatsoper under the baton of Erich Binder (c. 1985.) This number going back to my early youth has always been a big favorite. Although the Joan Sutherland and the London Symphony Orchestra recording of "Faust" (from which here's an excerpt) is the one I am most inclined and accustomed to, the sound and presentation here is very good also. However, due to a YouTube video glitch the sound and picture are not perfectly in sync; consequently I have shrunk the screen size for this reason.

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Better by far to suffer than to go along with them (i.e. these rotten spirit people and those mindless and or spineless persons who listen to them.) Indeed, sometimes (and under the present circumstances, and which for the time being can't be much helped) I actually welcome the pain and suffering just so I can all the more relish distancing myself -- so utterly guilty, loathsome, and full of themselves they are.

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Though I have done so previously, ordinarily I don't remark on a particular episode of some television drama. Notwithstanding, this past weekend I viewed an installment of "Bonanza" from 1960, "The Mission," that surprised me because I was so moved by it. Interested, amused, excited or entertained by some 60's drama or action show, yes, that is normal or assumable. But to be actually moved, that is to say emotionally within and by compulsion, is something quite rare. Well, this episode with Henry Hull, whom you may recall starred in "The Werewolf of London" (1935), before it was over had got to me in that way. So many elements are brought together for full dramatic effect. For instance, the hero, and the brains, is an old, debilitated drunk; and who is contrasted with his partner Hoss; who symbolically is the "body" and heart as it were to his mind, and together they try to overcome the hero's own weakness while at the same time contending against very violent and dangerous villains. The first part of the show is somewhat routine, but as the story gets moving on things reach to a stirring and action filled climax. The script is very good, but best of all is Henry Hull's performance that brings the teleplay together. I watched this program on DVD, and it is easily obtainable in various "Bonanza" collections out there. However, if you care to, you can also catch it on YouTube (with a preceding commercial) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgvRdrayVg ["Mission"]

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With Satan there's no real peace. It's either kill or be killed -- and, take my word for it, though his henchmen very well might be, your opponent is no dope.

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One of the great tricks in life is to avoid overlooking or taking for granted who and what you shouldn't. For one thing, not all beauty is readily apparent, and if you carelessly ignore or brush aside beauty that is less easily to be seen, you risk missing out on it completely. You will not necessarily be punished by anyone for doing so. Yet you may, nonetheless, both cheat yourself of it while at the same time do the possessor of such latent beauty an injustice -- either of which only reflects badly on you.

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For writers who feel they lack spirit, rhythm, and conciseness in their writing and emotional thinking, read the Bible on a regular (at least once a week) basis - imbibing it, over time, like food or nourishment. There are, of course, other very good books as well for this purpose, but the Bible is an especially excellent one to start with and that you can rely on.

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Read the book(s) first then watch the movie and or play the computer game they are based on -- you'll get ten times more out of them in learning, enjoyment and understanding than to either watch or play without the prior reading.

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Even if it is as bad as you think it is, you cannot possibly do without calm and peace (founded in rational and righteous truth) in yourself, and these in turn come from God being planted and dwelling in your moral soul.

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(To --) You raped, tortured, and murdered all these people and animals all these years, whatever did you think was going to happen (to you?)

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Although Satan might be able to physically destroy you, your family, your local community, and your country, he can never, as such, touch or rise superior to sound philosophy and just philosophical reasoning.

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What Gen. Sherman said was raze and level their kingdom to the ground.

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After decades of running Hollywood and the mass media, and with ticket sales plummeting, Oafmore arrives at the obvious conclusion that it must be that people just aren't interested in movies anymore.

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"Wherever God erects a house of prayer
the Devil always builds a chapel there;
And 't will be found, upon examination,
the latter has the largest congregation."
Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman (1701)

They can't debate honestly or fairly compete;
And so use lying and dirty tricks to cheat.
Well, why then not call the police?
"What! Are cops to replace the Prince of Peace?"

One of the great problems Christianity does and has for centuries suffered from is that of spirit people masquerading as God, heaven and or Jesus -- and no doubt, the same difficulty or something similar has thwarted other religions; sometimes with very tragic, brutal, and or catastrophic consequences.

The solution to this sort of dilemma, as always, is an honest and rational faith, in this instance Christianity. One would think this sort of suggestion would be the obvious course. Yet such is the power of spirit people to hoodwink, cajole, frighten and persuade that such entreaties and appeals not untypically fall on deaf ears -- it being decided that spirit people are superior to honest and rational analysis or discussion. The other day then, one idea that occurred to me to those so vexed is to suggest going out to all the churches in your local community, and, with all courtesy, decency, and politeness interview the pastors of each; then impartially assess and find out who and how many qualify as being genuinely honest and rational; after which, publish and list your findings and results (say on the internet.) Needless to say, anyone taking up such a survey needs themselves to be honest and fair to those so interviewed while affording such who don't "pass muster" the opportunity to include a response or reply of their own.

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If I have to choose between a scientist or historian who is more thorough and precise in his research versus one who is more ethically upright, candid, and honest, I will without exception prefer the latter.

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Those of you who saw that clip from the 1970 film "Waterloo" I posted earlier may have recognized the song "The Girl I Left Behind Me," also known as "Brighton Camp," being played in the background. It dates back to the 16th century, and in addition to the Napoleonic Wars, was well known in the American Revolution and later the American Civil War. Well, for fun and something different, here's a jaunty version of that same tune (with, in this case, lyrics dating from the Civil War) sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford (.mp3, 1.8 MBs, right click "Save as...")

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They are the one and only problem there is.

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